WASHINGTON -- Jordan Zimmermann didn't know much about the condition of fellow starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez when he arrived at Nationals Park on Sunday morning.
It turns out that Gonzalez went on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation after pitching just three innings on Saturday.
Zimmermann, the right-hander from Wisconsin, helped pick up the slack as he allowed eight hits and three runs in six innings as the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Sunday. His batterymate, catcher Wilson Ramos, had two hits and four RBIs to aid the cause.
"Will and I were on the same page the whole time and had good rhythm," Zimmermann said. "I gave up eight hits but for the most part they were broken bats (hits) and weak contact, so I can live with that."
Zimmermann (3-1) lobbied manager Matt Williams to let him pitch the seventh but the rookie skipper went to his bullpen, as Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano retired all nine batters they faced.
"I thought I had plenty left. We have one of the better bullpens in the league. Give them the ball and let them shut the door," Zimmermann said.
Storen lowered his ERA to 1.26, Clippard is now at 1.86 and Soriano's ERA is at 1.00.
"I like where I'm at right now," Storen said. "We are picking each other up. You want to lock it down (for Zimmermann)."
The Nationals are 23-20 even though five of their eight regular players have spent time on the disabled list this season. And so has right-handed starter Doug Fister and now Gonzalez.
"It is not ideal by any stretch," Williams said. "Sometimes you have to deal with it. We are in the middle of it right now."
Ramos had a two-run single in the fifth to give the Nationals a 5-1 lead against New York starter Zack Wheeler (1-4), who allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings and now has an ERA of 4.53.
"He makes a couple of mistakes and it comes back to hurt him," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Wheeler. "He hung a couple of sliders ... and they did damage."
The Nationals grabbed a 3-1 lead in the third as Ramos smashed a two-out, two-run double to left to score third baseman Anthony Rendon (three walks, single) and right fielder Jayson Werth. The runs were unearned as Werth reached base with two outs on a fielding error by shortstop Ruben Tejada.
"We can't make mistakes. We have to play solid baseball," Collins said. "We had a couple of baserunning things that need to be worked on. We certainly have to play crisper."
Ramos, who entered the game hitting .154 with two RBIs in 26 at bats, came off the disabled list May 7 after he suffered a left hamate fracture on Opening Day against the Mets in New York.
"It has been huge," Zimmermann said of Ramos in the lineup. "We saw it today. Big clutching hitting and driving in some runs."
Shortstop Ian Desmond of Washington had tied to score at 1-1 in the second when he hit a homer -- his second in as many days. The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the second as catcher Juan Centeno singled in a run.
Juan Lagares, the Mets' center fielder, and Centeno (two hits) had RBI singles in the sixth to make it 5-3 but Centeno was thrown out at second trying to advance to end the inning and Zimmermann's 92-pitch effort. Third baseman David Wright also had two hits for the Mets.
Second baseman Kevin Frandsen gave the Nationals an insurance run with an RBI groundout in the eighth to make it 6-3 as the Mets failed to turn a double play on a grounder to Tejada.
NOTES: The Nationals placed LHP Gio Gonzalez (left shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day disabled list and called up RHP Ryan Mattheus from Triple-A Syracuse. Gonzalez gave up five runs in three innings in a 5-2 loss to the Mets Saturday. "I was up in the zone the whole time," Gonzalez said. ... Mets OF Juan Lagares was back in the starting lineup Sunday after he broke out of a 5-for-27 slump with a home run and single and three RBIs Saturday. He also became the first player this year to hit a homer and rob a player of a homer in the same game, according to Fielding Bible. "He's a fantastic athlete," said Washington manager Matt Williams. ... Washington begins a series at home Monday against the Reds and RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48) of the Nationals will face RHP Mike Leake (2-3, 3.09) of the Reds. ... The Mets begin a series at home Tuesday and RHP Rafael Montero (0-1, 4.50) will go against Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett (1-1, 2.38).